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Bad Cops (Part 2)

by Phoenixx Fyre Dean 2 years ago in investigation

Oppression Under Color of Law.

In every police department across the country there is a bad cop that ruins the reputation and credibility of the officers that are truly selfless and enjoy their job for the right reasons.  (Photo courtesy of Catalino Creators)

Law enforcement is a crucial part of our society. Of that, there is no doubt. Anarchy and lawlessness would surely reign supreme without the efforts of the police officers that are willing to sacrifice themselves, so that you may live safely and without fear. Sometimes though, the police are not the answer, but part of the problem. Bad cops exist, and Evansville, Indiana is full of them. Try as they may, the Evansville Police Department just can't seem to hire officers that weren't bullied all the way through school, entitled because of their participation trophies, and equipped with a firearm and the means to ruin a life in an instant with a lie should things not go their way. Why are the troubled officers, many that come with an arrest record, permitted to patrol the streets and rise through the ranks of the department? It is the intention of this author to shine a spotlight on the crimes committed daily by those sworn to enforce the laws of the State of Indiana and the United States of America. We common citizens are expected to live our lives within the letter of the law. If we step outside of those lines, we should be punished. Police officers are supposed to live by the same laws, but are rarely held to the same standards as the every day citizen. What happens when an entire department lives above the law? The case of Mark Healy is a perfect example of allowing people in a position of power to exploit that position.

Mark Evan Healey

A still from the body cam footage of Evansville police officer Nick Henderson. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

Mark Evan Healy was up to no good in the early morning hours of October 29, 2016 when he encountered three Evansville police officers. Nick Henderson, Mark DeCamps and Marcus Craig were responding in their capacity as law enforcement officers when they found Healy in the process of burglarizing the garage of William Higgs in the 700 block of Florida Street in Evansville, Indiana. According to the report written by the officers, Healy resisted when they confronted him, and a physical altercation ensued. During that altercation, Healy broke free from the officers and attempted to run away. When again confronted, he stabbed one of the officers with a syringe filled with liquid methamphetamine. The officers were then able to physically restrain Healy and arrested him. After the arrest, and because use of force was implemented, Sergeant Kyle Kassell reviewed the body cam footage and swore to the validity of the officer's statements. Body cam footage was released that shows what really happened the morning Mark Healy was arrested for burglary, resisting law enforcement where the defendant draws or uses a deadly weapon, unlawful possession of a syringe, theft with a prior conviction for theft or conversion and possession of methamphetamine, and it is very different than what the officers reported. (Body cam footage can be seen here...) The footage shows a very frightened Healy turn around very quietly and place his hands behind his back while officer Nick Henderson places handcuffs on the wrists of the Evansville man. Henderson calmly explained that Healy was not under arrest at the moment, and was only being detained, then proceeds to search Healy without any further discussion. Henderson asked no questions before he stuck his hand in the pocket of Mark Evan Healy and was promptly stuck by a needle that was attached to a methamphetamine-loaded syringe. Officer Nick Henderson is heard screaming "you motherfucker" before striking Healy in the face and then throwing him to the ground. During the nine minute video, Healy is punched, kicked by another officer and constantly berated with things like "you cocksucker" and "I don't care if you die." Healy was taken to the Vanderburgh County Jail and booked on the aforementioned charges, and the three officers turned in their false reports.

The trouble for the officers came when the use of force case was reviewed by superior officers, in accordance with the policies of the State of Indiana. The Indiana State Police spearheaded the investigation and all four officers were quickly suspended. Chief of Police, Billy Bolin recommended the three offices be fired immediately and Sergeant Kyle Kassel demoted. The Merit Commission disagreed and allowed all of the officers to keep their jobs and the sergeant to keep his rank.

Vanderburgh County Prosecutor, Nick Hermann, declined to file charges against the officers and explained that he could not prove the intent of Nick Henderson was to harm Mark, but instead it was decided that Henderson's elbow to the face was simply a reflex reaction to being stuck with a needle that was illegally possessed by Healy. Perjury charges wouldn't be filed, according to Nick Hermann, because, "it was a discrepancy in the wording" and the officers shouldn't be held responsible, because they didn't get the chance to review the body cam footage before writing their reports. Indiana State Law states that "a person who makes a false, material statement under oath or affirmation, knowing the statement to be false or not believing it to be true commits perjury." Hermann's interpretation of the law would mean that no officer in Evansville could ever be charged with perjury for misstating all use of force incidents in a police report. While all of the officers involved could and should have been charged with official misconduct, obstruction of justice and false informing. The Vanderburgh County Prosecutor, Nick Hermann, had this to say about charging the officers, "If we start going after police officers because there is a line in a probable cause affidavit that contradicts what we see in the video, quite frankly, we wouldn't have anymore Evansville police officers." I suppose, Nick Hermann, that says it all.


Phoenixx Fyre Dean

Phoenixx lives on the Oregon coast with her husband and children.

Author of Lexi and Blaze: Impetus, The Bloody Truth and Daddy's Brat. All three are available on Amazon in paperback format and Kindle in e-book format.

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